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"Net loss" for Heat. Wade leaves but Beasley leads to another close win vs New Jersey

As if there wasn’t enough turmoil with the incessant rumors swirling around the Miami Heat on the eve of the NBA trade deadline. Right at the outset in the first quarter the Heat suffered injuries to Rafer Alston, Jermaine O’Neal (both promptly returned) and Dwyane Wade (who did not return). Even though he’s day-to-day with a strained calf it was the same leg where he had surgery so at the very least it wasn’t his knee. Despite the fact that the Heat struggled again versus the lowly Nets the team pulled it together and came through with Michael Beasley stepping it big time on both ends of the floor. Maybe they were in a bit of a shock after Wade went down for the night but the Heat could not pull away from the Nets until the final moments of the 4th quarter. Come to think of it, even with Wade the Heat barely escaped with a win at home against New Jersey thanks to a 3-point bank shot by Quentin Richardson and a fumbling Wade 3 pointer at the buzzer. This time Beasley, who probably would have been taken out of the game already in favor of Haslem if not for Wade's injury, took care of the situation before the game got away from them. At 74-80 with 4 minutes left in the game, Beasley scored two buckets ad then grabbed 3 rebounds and made some huge plays down the stretch. Even though he was initially taken out of the offense early in the 4th quarter with the Nets double-teaming him, he quickly passed the ball out as soon as Devin Harris joined Kris Humphries in guarding him and Carlos Arroyo was able to feed Quentin Richardson for a 3 to tie the game at 82-82. After O’Neal blocked a Harris shot and Beasley was able to recover the ball, he wisely tried not to be a hero on a fast-break opportunity and instead the Heat took more time off the clock that led to a foul and a free throw by O’Neal. Then on defense, Beasley put a body on Lopez and denied him a good look at the rim and then grabbing a huge rebound in the paint. After an inexcusable offensive foul by Arroyo, Beasley preserved the one-point lead with a huge block on a layup attempt by Humphries. Richardson and O’Neal then iced it with a pair of free throws each. This is the second time this season the Nets had a win stolen from them by the Heat but the Nets also shot themselves in the foot by not making any baskets at the end and also some plain old bad luck. It remains to be seen by today’s trade deadline whether the Heat feel more pressured to do a trade with the uncertainty of Wade’s injury. With the win, the Heat moves one game over .500 and up to the #7 spot in the Eastern Conference standings. One thing is certain, Beasley made his best case that he is certainly a keeper.